In January 2018, the Chemical Engineering Department was delighted to be a platinum sponsor of the 1st International Conference on Bioinspired Materials and Membranes (IBMM2018) and the 1st International Conference on Energy-efficient Separation (iEESEP2018).
The two conferences, organised by the ARC Research Hub for Energy-efficient Separation, hosted 157 participants and aimed to review and discuss the recent research progress and future direction of two vital research topics - bio-inspired materials and membranes.
Bio-inspired materials are the focus of an emerging research topic, which aims to develop high-performance functional materials by learning from nature. In the last a few years the applications of bio-inspired materials in membranes has markedly increased.
Within this context, the two conferences together provided the perfect opportunity to gather experts from both research fields - including academic and industry partners - to exchange innovative ideas and experience in developing advanced materials and membranes for energy-efficient separation.
Co-chairs Professor Huanting Wang and Professor Xiwang Zhang, along with their organising committee, created a scientific program designed to provide researchers tangible benefits and collaboration opportunities, thereby stimulating research in the development of new bio-inspired materials and membrane.
The conference committee welcomed five plenary speakers, 25 keynote speakers and 15 invited speakers. Plenary speakers included Professor Tony Fane (UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at UNSW, Australia), Prof Lei Jiang (ICCAS, and Dean of School of Chemistry and Environment, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China and Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Australia), Prof Liang-Yin Chu (School of Chemical Engineering, Sichuan University, China), Dr Anita Hill (Future Industries, CSIRO, Australia), and Prof Dongyuan Zhao, (Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Advanced Materials and Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, Fudan University, China and Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Australia).
The event also included a tour of Monash Campus and the Australian Synchrotron, as well as an Early Career Researcher Workshop.
The next IBMM will be held in Sichuan, China in 2020 .
An important element of the conferences was the opportunity for students to present their research in a supportive environment, which included mentors, future collaborators and leaders of their fields. Students were encouraged to present a poster or enter the 3MT competition, with awards given to the top three in each category. Recipients included:
- 1st - Van Huy Tran (University of Technology Sydney)
- 2nd - Wang Zhao (Monash University)
- 3rd - Yun Xia (Monash University)
Best poster award:
- 1st - James Maina (Deakin University)
- 2nd - Yuqi Wang (Monash University
- 3rd - Yun Lu (Monash University)